“Take your fighting elsewhere”

Law and order in the Porgera valley remains at an all-time low as killing and violence continues to riddle the mining township.

The Porgera community has publicly condemned the ongoing tribal fighting between the warring Nomal and Aiyela clans and the killing of innocent people.

They have directed the warring factions to take their ongoing fight, outside of the Porgera Valley.

In an unprecedented show of support, various community groups and clans yesterday protested into the Pogera Station and aired their frustrations including calling on the Government to declare an immediate State of Emergency (SOE) in the Valley.

On Wednesday 26th April, a protest was prompted by another eruption of violence and innocent killings at Lukal village, situated between the Porgera mine site and the Paiam township.

The platform for the gathering was set by the Porgera-Paiela Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Government services and functions have again stopped in Porgera and the BSP closed its banking services again on Tuesday 25 April for the safety of its workers, after only reopening a month ago.

Organised by the youth of Porgera, the protest indicated bulk of the community united for the cause – for Nomal and Aiyela clans to take their fighting out of the Porgera Valley and for the Government to provide a realistic solution to ending the lawlessness with the consideration that the Porgera mine will only re-open if the Porgera people and communities are safe and secure.

Since the 8th of March 2023, police reports have confirmed 21 people (men and women) murdered in the Porgera valley from tribal conflicts. Moreover, as of 26th April, critical community services such the local schools and Paiam Hospital have again closed indefinitely.

Supply trucks and passenger buses along the highway into Porgera continue to be ambushed and looted while firearms sightings and discharges within the Special Mine Lease/Lease for Mining Purpose communities continue to increase.

Community leaders at the protest expressed disappointment at the complete lack of national, provincial and district government attention to the Porgera law and order situation expressing that while the Government is busy putting in all its time and resource toward attaining a larger benefit share of the New Porgera, the Porgera people continue to suffer.

Suyan Community leader, Michael Yandapake expressed that if the Porgera people and communities are not safe and secure, the mine cannot proceed to re-open.

“The Government has forgotten about Porgera.  How can the mine re-open when we have killings every day? The security deployment are not funded and cannot do anything but only look after government property. We cannot blame them for not doing enough. Aiyela and Nomal stop the fighting now. Porgera says stop. Please – stop fighting,” Mr Yandpake expressed.

Following the recent killings this week and as of April 25 2023, there has been reinforcement security into Porgera with 171 police and Defence Force personnel on the ground.

Loop Author